Culture Buzz: Giving and Receiving Feedback

We promise, it doesn’t have to be that awkward…

Giving and receiving feedback can be awkward, especially in a professional setting. We all want to be seen as competent and capable workers, so it can feel sickening to hear criticism, even when it’s well-intentioned. Giving feedback can be just as awkward, especially if you’re not sure how it will be received. Will your colleague appreciate your honesty? Or will they feel like you’re nitpicking?

Feedback is an essential part of any workplace, but that doesn’t make it any less unsettling. Here are a few ideas from our DesignUs culture training program about navigating feedback.

Let’s dive in! 

Hearing Feedback

In our experience, feedback received well and offered from a healthy place is the key to a successful brand. When the top leaders of an organization cannot hear or accept feedback about their brand, they become blind to simple fixes that would impact their business. Leaders must open themselves up to the vulnerability of feedback and let the ego drop to the floor. Leaders must understand that absorbing healthy feedback from employees and customers does not diminish their competencies. It gives their leadership the gravitas of courage, collaboration, and humility.

Healthy feedback offers business growth, meaning, and purpose. 

Giving Feedback

Leaders often have trouble navigating the ability to build enough trust with employees that the feedback they give doesn’t intimidate their employees. To respect and honor the person across from you, follow these tips:

-Managers, adjust your role from command + control to coaching, 

-Create a conversation space about growth and learning not blame and shame.

-As an employee receiving feedback, ask two questions that will lead you down the path of exciting growth:  What am I doing that I should keep doing? What am I doing that I should change? 

-Managers should keep these two questions in mind as they give feedback. This puts encouragement ahead of the change that needs to be made. Keep in mind feedback should be 5-1 positive to negative.

-Instead of one review at the end of a year or six months, employees and managers should have incremental, concrete check-ins several times a year

-Shift away from a past performance focus into a future development focus

-Performance management is not about a frozen moment in time but a continuous process. (Social Recognition Systems)

Remember, with greater employee engagement, and consistent social recognition comes…

-22% greater profitability

-21% greater productivity

-65% lower turnover

-10% better customer ratings

-48% fewer safety incidents

-28% less theft

(Mosely, Eric, Derek, Irvine. Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies are Changing the Future of Work and the World. McGraw Hill, 2021.)

For further reflection, ask yourself these questions: What is vulnerable about hearing or giving feedback? Where do you get stuck? Where would you like to grow?

Looking for a more hands-on, indepth workshop about giving and receiving feedback? Our DesignUs culture training program is your solution. You don’t have to stay burdened with unmotivated employees wondering where you went wrong. We’re here to help. Let us design your business from the inside out and the outside in. To learn more or get started with DesignUs, click here.

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